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Spain: Patrick overcomes tyre drama to finish 6th after a fantastic Qualifying

Discussion in 'Formula SimRacing' started by Christian Smirnoff, Jun 12, 2011.

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    Patrick De Wit took Faster Than Speed's best result of the World Championship season to date as he finished 6th at the Circuit de Catalunya, despite a tyre compound issue which cost him a well-deserved 4th place.

    In Qualifying, Patrick made his first Q2 appearance of the year, where he drove a fantastic lap to 3rd on the grid.

    Patrick De Wit set the 7th fastest time in the Q1 session, entering the top-10 shootout for the first time in 2011. Team mate Giuseppe Marconi qualified 17th. In Q2, Patrick drove an awesome lap which left him 3rd on the grid, by far his best qualifying performance of the season.

    After a strong start in which he challenged Huis and Nilsson for the lead but remained 3rd, Patrick started to be pressured by Kerkhof. The pair even made contact once, as Kerkhof tried a move from behind into Turn 1, and Patrick just managed to save the car and stay ahead of his compatriot. After switching places a couple of times, Kerkhof pitted a lap earlier than Patrick and just managed to leapfrog the FTS driver. Right out of the pits, Patrick made a quick pass on Saxen, who was yet to stop, before defending sucessfully from an agressive Disley.

    The pitstop, however, was the moment the team realised things would get more difficult. Due to a technical issue during the Warm-Up session, Patrick had to race on the medium tyre compound, despite using a set of the hard rubber during Q2. The medium tyre was not able to go the distance, meaning Patrick had an unscheduled second stop ahead, which dropped him from a sure 4th place to 10th with only 11 laps remaining. Getting the maximum out of his fresh tyres, Patrick made great moves on Room and Patel before climbing a further two spots due to Disley's and Greco's technical issues. Despite losing a couple of places due to the compound issue, 6th was still a great result for Patrick after a tough start to the season and shows the team is starting to extract the potential of its FTS-P11.

    Giuseppe, meanwhile, drove a good race, showing a good start and consistent pace throughout the GP, staying out of trouble to finish in 16th place, in what was Faster Than Speed's first WC two-car finish of the year.

    Patrick De Wit (6th): "We finally found some speed in the FTS car thanks to the team's effort. Q1 went ok although I had some traffic in my second hotlap and did not improve anymore, but my time was good enough for Q2. Then, our first time this year in Q2, which was all new to me. I had a fantastic lap which placed me in the 3rd spot. I made a slight mistake in sector 3, could have been 2nd, but was 3rd was a victory for me anyway, after seeing my recent Qualifying performances.
    The start was pretty ok, nearly overtaking Nilsson and Huis, but they defended well. I was trying to stay with them but they were too fast today in race trim, we need to figure out why. Then it was a matter of keeping Kerkhof behind which I tried hard to do, and kept him at bay for around 24 laps, he then passed me but made a mistake the same lap and I inherited 3rd again. Then, he leapfrogged me in the pitstop for 3rd.
    Disley was then closing in, he tried to pass as well, but he did not succeed. After the first stop, I noticed I was on medium tyres for some bizarre reason, so had to come in again, otherwise I had 4th place for sure. In the end, I passed Room, Disley, Patel and Greco for P6. It was a great day for FTS, enjoyed it very very much!"

    Giuseppe Marconi (16th): "My race started quite good because I gained 4 postions in the first turn. Then it was impossible for me to keep Greco, Mikkonen and the other fast WC guys behind, also because my pace was over half a second slower than in testing. I only wanted to see the finish line after another unlucky WS race so I managed the car easily, trying to do some good laps."

    The team did not have a good weekend in the other divisions. In the World Series, Giuseppe Marconi's solid race ended with only 10 laps to go due to an electrical failure while he was in a comfortable 9th position. In the World Trophy, Heinz Vanderhoydonck's race also finished prematurely due to an engine failure.

    Faster Than Speed will now be looking forward to the Monaco GP, to be raced next weekend at the glamorous streets of Monte Carlo. The Principality was the venue where Patrick De Wit took his maiden FTS podium in 2007 while Florian Pechon and Jorge Maenen took WS Advanced victories for FTS in 2008 and 2009 respectively. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news from Monaco, and stay tuned for the race's Live Broadcasts here!

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    Faster Than Speed
    Press Release
  2. you guys had a superb weekend and patrick did a great job :D looking forward to monaco